I have had a lot of inquires about Linkedin lately, especially as it relates to the Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise. There is such a buzz around endorsements and not the one I think Linkedin had intended.
So what is the fuss?
It seems that I cannot go to a social media chat or meeting without someone slamming the Linkedin endorsement feature followed by a diatribe of its value and worth. So much negative debate for a form of recognition.
Please stop the whining. Leverage the value instead. How?
Take advantage of the higher visibility it affords and use it to increase your networking. Yes, that’s right, networking. Try these 3 easy steps/ tips to increase your networking ability:
1. Prepare a comprehensive list of your skills
The first tip is to complete a comprehensive skill-set. You can list up to 50. Take total advantage of this. List all the skills you want to showcase and market. This should be consistent with your personal branding effort. I still see a lot of incomplete profiles. Linkedin has made it easy for you by adding this skills and expertise feature. Use it! It is an opportunity to increase the visibility of what you “bring to the table”. It also adds to the “Linkedin search juice”. I would also advise that the body of your profile also includes your skills listed, highlighting any accomplishments as a result of those skills. This gives weight to any endorsements you have received and hence increasing its value and credibility.
Now there may be occasions where you might receive an endorsement that is not on your list. Do not accept it automatically. Think about it. Is this a strength? Is this the skill you really want to make visible? This brings me to the next tip.
2. Manage your Linkedin endorsements, skills and expertise portfolio
As mentioned in tip 1, you do not have to accept all your endorsements. You can remove any endorsements that you believe is not a real strength. Just go into the edit function and remove it. So if you are one of the Linkedin members that believe this feature to be of little value, remove them. I would advise not to do that. My advice is to manage them. Make sure that this is indeed the portfolio you want to showcase. Don’t forget to thank those that took the time to endorse you.
3. Search and Check Common skill-sets. Leverage to start the conversation.
Are you interested in a specific company? Or specific person? Using the Linkedin search feature, search for that company [or person] and then checkout who works there. Click on the profile of the individual you would like to learn more about. Scan the sidebar of their profile, Linkedin highlights what you have in common with that individual [as shown below]. Armed with this information, this is a great way to start a conversation with that individual. It is an ice-breaker. Or, you may want to share how you may complement that person or their company thereby inviting further conversation. Now that is why I call this tool the hidden gem! It can indeed help your networking ability. So much better than hitting on a person saying ” I want a job and can you get me one”.
In closing, I know that there has been a lot of debate on whether the number of endorsements mean anything. Like any other indicator, it needs other indicators to validate its value. My advice remains consistent and has held true for a number of years now. Influenceand skill indicators should be used as a guide and not as an absolute. Do your homework by using a number of data points to help you make an informed decision or conclusion. As I mentioned in tip 1, bring your endorsements alive by adding your accomplishments as a result of your skills and expertise. There is not one social media silver bullet that can be held up as “the be all, and end all” of an individual’s worth. You still have to do your homework. Those that get burnt, are those that took the lazy route and did not bother to evaluate a person holistically.
Now it is your turn. What do you think?
Thank you for indulging in my scripts!
Photo credit: TheSearare on Flickr